Sodexo announced this week its plans to address new trends in the workplace with the acquisition of Nourish Inc., a commissary kitchen model with 25 different cuisine options and an emphasis on fresh, veggie-forward dishes. At the same time, Sodexo announced the North American expansion of its upscale, bespoke workplace dining solution, Good Eating Company (GEC).
These new kids on the block are being positioned to strengthen Sodexo’s presence and delivery options in urban markets including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in offices looking for solutions to a very different office life.
“We need to come up with ways in which we can offer more efficient onsite dining to our clients,” says Sodexo President of Corporate Services Mike Gillespie. “We’re looking at reducing onsite expenses [for B&I clients], increasing quality, and preparing meals centrally to be delivered. It’s a timely acquisition, because we are thinking about what does coming back to the office look like?”
While no one knows exactly what office life will look like, Gillespie has found that many offices “aren’t going to come back to 5-days-a-week schedules, they’re going to work from home or maybe a third place…as the pandemic went on, we really came to the conclusion that it’s going to be very different,” Gillespie says.
Sodexo North America’s CEO, Corporate Services, David Bailey said in a press release he hopes to anticipate clients’ needs and help them to provide their employees with a healthy support system.
“Our new food solutions will empower them to not just improve the existing dining solutions, but to eat well, while working from anywhere,” Bailey said.
Centralized, commissary-style kitchens cranking out organic, Bay Area-style, vegetable-forward meals: that is Nourish’s specialty, and the set up allows Sodexo to work with offices large or small, and even deliver to employees working from home.
“They do a great job of scaling up and scaling down, up to 20,000 and down to 1,000,” Gillespie says, adding that the flexibility extends into “our ability to service clients with kitchens and without kitchens.”
GEC, a UK-based food-only brand, offers breakfast, lunch and grab-and-go options using locally sourced ingredient with flexibility for chefs. Sodexo will use GEC’s delivery service, Good Eating Delivered, which will be powered by a Sodexo app. Customers will be able to pick up food at a client site or have it home delivered, a nice perk an employer could offer to its work-from-home employees.
Gillespie sums it up: “The onsite food model has changed. We have been able to bring forth contemporary, relevant brands that we feel will complement the return to office or work-from-anywhere strategies of our clients and customers.”